It’s not this bad.
It’s not that bad.
But maybe it’s close.
When I actually started reading them at the beginning of June, I was rightly chuffed.
Beginning with the most recent issues, I was reading backwards, and I read three the first week.
But I also resolved that when the new issues came in the post, I would move them to the top of the stack.
(I can imagine the long-standing residents resented this resolution, but it was a gesture to current affairs.)
And, so, when the July/August issue of “The Walrus” arrived, later in June, I began reading that night.
Oh, I started slowly, finding Claudia Goodine’s “Ship Spotting” essay, about the increased oil tanker traffic on the Pacific coast fascinating and disturbing. (I spent a long time reading articles online about related issues.)
And that was a short essay. Whereas Sarah Milroy’s “The Hunter Artist”, about the new generation of Inuit artists who are working to preserve northern traditions even while adapting to southern ways of life, kept me occupied for two evenings.
Emily Landau’s essay on poet Pauline Johnson had me pulling Flint and Feather off the shelf and the Charlotte Gray biography.
And Matthew McKinnon’s “An Exile on Main Street” found me spending more time on K’naan videos on Youtube than I would have thought possible.
And all of that besides the real draw to the magazine for me, which is always the fiction.
This issue’s summer reading includes Margaret Atwood, Joseph Boyden and Heather O’Neill, each revisiting the territory of a major work (The Robber Bride, Three Day Road, Lullabies for Little Criminals, respectively).
And, oh, a tasty Kate Beaton cover on this month’s issue, too, also available as a print.
So, here’s my problem. And it’s a delightful problem to have.
Because some of the magazines on my stack? I can read them in an hour.
“The Walrus”? It took me more than a week. That’s good reading.
And I’ll stop there. Because if I attempt the figuring involved to determine how many back issues of it I have overlooked in more hectic book-focussed months, how many are still lingering in amongst the tower, I might feel overwhelmed.
(As if the simple fact that there are still 57 magazines on the stack isn’t overwhelming enough.)
Whereas really what I’ve learned? They’re worth reading. I’ve been missing out.
I used to know this. But sometimes we need reminding, right?
What magazine is your current favourite?